Seattle’s Mass Vaccination Site

Claire Hein, Staff Writer

The coronavirus has been around for over a year now. Last March, everyone dreamed of vaccinations and transitioning back into our daily lives when the disease did not exist. But now, we in the U.S. have not only made a vaccine but are distributing it to those who need it, like grocery store workers, elders, people with health problems, food industry workers and more. Soon, the vaccine will be open to the normal public so anyone can be vaccinated. Here in Seattle, there has been something huge that has been a big help to vaccinating the people of Seattle. That is the mass vaccination site in Lumen Field. This spot in Sodo was planned at the start of March and has been in the works ever since. It has served as one of the three mass COVID-19 vaccination sites in Seattle, the others being at the Southwest Athletic Complex in West Seattle and the Atlantic City Boat Ramp in Rainier Beach.

The county officials and health care workers are planning on distributing 1,000 shots a day, and appointments will be made through a referral, so there is no public way to sign up. These vaccination sites are taking matters quite seriously, and only vaccinating those 65 and older, but the site in Sodo will eventually have the capacity to administer 150,000 shots a week to those who simply need it most. The Lumen Field location is run by Swedish Hospital, so citizens know that it is a safe bet and legitimate. says that “with the current vaccine supply, the site will initially vaccinate around 5,000 people a week but is equipped to vaccinate as many as 150,000 people a week or about 22,000 a day at full capacity when supply increases.” Komo News also states, “On Friday, President Joe Biden announced that states must make all American adults eligible for a coronavirus vaccine no later than May 1.” People are super excited about getting the coronavirus vaccine, and this is a huge turn in history. Considering that with people vaccinated, we as a county and state could get out of a quarantine and get back to our normal lives while being protected and more comfortable doing so. Maddie Stephens, a Skyline junior, stated that she is not able to receive the vaccine at this time, but because she sees her grandma often, “I am super excited to get it because I will feel protected and safe around others.” King County has been one of the most fast-working and reacting counties to the virus, and we have made tremendous progress with even the amount of people who have been sick with the virus. According to Sounderatheart, as of last week, King County had administered a total of about 330,000 doses and received fewer than 550,000 while receiving about 80,000 shots a week.

Lumen Field was a great location choice because it is in a quite popular area of Seattle, and pretty centered so that people can come from opposite sides of the city to receive it and not feel left out. Although this is a great turning point and opportunity for citizens of Seattle, some people are not supporting the idea of vaccination and do not understand the benefit of it. This may be due to religious and political opinions, but the vaccine has been shown to be effective by “reducing the risk of infection, protecting against milder COVID-19 illness, preventing more serious outcomes, and preventing the spread of illness with long-term protection,” according to the CDC. Additionally, while talking about the vaccination site’s motive, Faith Hein, a Cal-Poly freshman says, “I think they would want to spread the word and vaccinate as many people as they can,” which by the looks of it, appears to be true. According to the Seattle Times, another clinic is planned with an expected 3,100 doses. There is information on how to join an email list to be notified of available appointments, at the Lumen Field Event. So many health care workers are doing their best to contribute to and help this movement in vaccinating the public. Lake Washington High School sophomore Max Hein says that “I think in general more places should have something like this to start,” and he could not be more correct. It is amazing the progress we have made here in Seattle, but many other places could use the help to catch up to make sure new strands of the virus do not start spreading right now.

This is a world-wide movement and, here in the US, we are lucky to have access to this medical attention. Shay Albrecht, a Freeman High School senior, states that this vaccination site and the distribution of the vaccine “probably costs so much money but the government can definitely afford it.” So money is not necessarily the problem here. Places just need to follow the steps that Seattle took in creating these vaccination sites to vaccinate those in need. If other places did the same, we could be making progress as a country and world, not just city-wide.